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Good for them! Considering how passionate they are about their games, I am certain BG3 will eventually be awesome! =)

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(ooh, hold on a minute, I have to add a little more chocolate sauce to my fry pan ... gotta carmelize the salmon a little more ... OK!)

I can understand why developers do not participate on chat boards or other public forums. It is definitely a double-edged sword, and I think the etiquette has changed a lot since the late 90's. John Winski was pretty vocal about the futility of posting on the BioWare boards, but yet many other staff members posted regularly and I believe some threads did actually result in game improvements and new features (and NPC characters!). I really appreciated the ability to correspond directly with the BioWare creators, and to know that they heard my ideas. It was fun, and I definitely felt like a human community member. I think keeping that community spirit alive was a driving motivation for Neverwinter Nights.

As I have said before, there is a difference between a bunch of game developers trying to form a business, versus a business trying to develop a game. Part of the magic of Baldur's Gate was that the community was right there on the ground level with the developers. And that is where I want to be with Larian, too! So if Larian employees cannot post openly, so be it, I will assume they are still lurking in the background, and I will talk about the same things I would have said if they were posting officially. For example, the City of Brass adventure still needs some attention ...

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Doesn't the surprise on the beach have to be Us.(The intellect devourer companion)
It's the only surprise that would be dependent on the choices made in the prologue.

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Originally Posted by Argyle
(ooh, hold on a minute, I have to add a little more chocolate sauce to my fry pan ... gotta carmelize the salmon a little more ... OK!)

Mmmm. I'm feeling lazy tonight so I'm going to stick with my old standby of yogurt and ketchup.

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Originally Posted by Alodar
Doesn't the surprise on the beach have to be Us.(The intellect devourer companion)
It's the only surprise that would be dependent on the choices made in the prologue.

Us sounds like a really good guess to me, but Swen did mention changes to the tutorial, so there could be other choices and other consequences... (I still think Us is a high probability though).

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Being able to keep Us around would be quite the disappointing surprise, if that’s actually it.

Also, no way I’m keeping that disgusting little fucker alive out of the ship in any of my playthrougs.


Party control in Baldur's Gate 3 is a complete mess that begs to be addressed. SAY NO TO THE TOILET CHAIN
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A quick synopsis of the interview for those who don't want to watch a video recording:

This will mostly focus on Sven's responses, but in a few places it will be pertinent to mention the interviewer's questions or comments as well. My own cross comments are spoiler tagged for those who just want the raw 'what was said'.

The opening comments from Sven are that the long radio silence means that they are busy; he later comments to say that if they aren't silent they don't get anything done. It seems to run counter to the concept of the community engagement that was advertised initially.

Niara's Comment: I do find myself wondering why Sven believes that having a community voice to keep touching base with their EA testers is somehow mutually exclusive to a productive work environment.

He tells us that the next update is coming soon(tm), and that they are focusing a lot on the community feedback they've received. He says they're focusing on game features and not new content (presumably for the update, since he talks multiple times later about the fact that they're working away on the rest of the game), and that it addresses a lot of the things they've been reading.

Niara's Comment: Unfortunately, Sven and Larian have said these exact things before, many times now, and to date have offered very little evidence to support it. Patches are growing longer and longer between times, despite the company making statements each time that they intend the patches to come faster. They've said they listen to and make changes based on community feedback, but to date, almost nothing of any significance has actually been changed from Larian's original vision – a small to moderate handful of fairly sideline effects. Removed surfaces from a couple of cantrips was probably the biggest one, with Larian mostly doubling down on their own ideas no matter the volume of community feedback against them. This rhetoric just doesn't mean anything any more; it's not convincing, and it won't be until we see something that actively restores that good faith... I'll be pleasantly surprised if we do see something that does this, but I'm not expecting any such thing – this is the situation that repeating this rhetoric with nothing to show for it, time and again, has left me in.

When asked about what they've learned since adding druids back in February (four months since the last update), Sven comments that: “What we learned from bears is that on-boarding is important”.

Niara's Comment: Another remark that makes it feels like he has really no respect or care for the system they're supposed to be working within...

He briefly explains further by saying that they'll try to explain the rules and game mechanics better; not just through tutorials, he says, but, ehh, really, ah, a whole, erm, bunch of things, really, a lot. He goes on to further explain: “I'm being vague, but it's cool stuff, really, erhm, things that... make.. the game, ehm, better.”

Niara's Comment: Okay, so, this isn't heavily scripted interview, and Sven is not a comfortable public speaker unless he has a solid script (and not even really then), and that's okay. I'm being harsh on him here... but at the same time, answering with vague, empty platitudes and assurances that's it's cool stuff doesn't help anyone, especially when his recent comments about cool stuff revolved around the cool and funny ways he could exploit and break the game and do immersion-breaking nonsense to break the mechanics. That's not a lot of people's ideas of fun. We've seen that his idea of making the game better involves giving everyone over-powered extra abilities that obliterate all other forms of tact or class distinction; many, many people vocally disagree with this, but there's no indication that that's been taking on board.

He comments that combat is a big focus for them right now, because they've seen that a lot of players are not getting what they want out of combats. He goes so far as to confirm that they may even be making major changes to some existing systems in the game... he doesn't elucidate on how, but then makes some other comments that make this initially promising statement more troublesome.

He says they'll be trying things out to see what works and what doesn't, before doubling down again on his rhetoric that tabletop doesn't translate well into a video game (despite mountains of evidence to the contrary); he says they're willing to turn things around “if they think it's necessary”. His comments go on to say that melee characters don't have enough to do; that fighter is a tutorial class that leaves players with little to do, that players coming from D:OS/2 want to be able to do more, more quickly, and that while this isn't that sort of game, they need to give them something more, and that they really do love the shove and throw mechanics and systems, and that they are working really well.

Niara's Comment: What started out as a positive, and hopeful-seeming comment quickly spiralled here. Sven doesn't really sound like any of his thoughts or opinions on what makes for a good or fun combat system have changed, and while he said they're making big changes to the systems, he didn't give any indication of what or how; instead, he said they'd change “If they felt it was necessary”, and then up-sold how awesome he felt shove and throw were, and how well they were working – so it seems clear that the overwhelming weight of voices regarding those particular mechanics are not on the chalkboard for being listened to, at all. Rather, this comment ends up making it sound like they're changing the system to make it MORE comfy for D:OS players - at the expense of D&D feel - coming in who want more things to do per turn, which is a disastrous take-away, from my perspective.

I'm also deeply bothered by the way he talks about melee classes having little to do, how that's a problem that only really affects the first two or three levels, by his own admission, and then, in the same breath more or less, about how they're tailoring game mechanics that will affect everyone, and every class, for the entire spectrum of the game, based on that. That's just a ridiculous course of action; it's a grab for instant gratification with no thought towards long term consequences, which is, I must say, signature for Larian design, and showing no sign of changing...

The next couple of minutes involve comments to the extent of saying that the game is bigger than anything they've done before (we know this already), that it takes time to make things, and that more will be coming eventually, because they are in fact, going to release a full game, even if the EA is only act one. That there is a lot of work being done, that a lot of stuff is happening, which will, he assures us, make the game a lot better.. again, with no indication of what he means by that and with no actual information. He comments that sometimes people will play and wonder why they decided to do something, or focus on something, but that it will all become clear, he promises.

Niara's Comment: This is more empty air time, filled with more non-statement and empty platitudes; it is a meander of words that convey a complete lack of meaningful communication.

Something curious happens in the next part of the interview: They talk about release times, and Sven laments the setbacks caused by the Covid crisis, the difficulties with VAs and motion capture - major issues that were reported on last year. The interviewer then asks: “Full release, is 2020 ballpark what you're aiming for?” To which Sven responds: “We would be happy if we can release next year, yes.”

Niara's Comment: When was this interview recorded again?

Sven is asked about releasing to next gen consoles, but if firmly making no comment about that question; fair enough.

Next up the interviewer informs us that, apparently, everyone misses seeing Sven in his armour, and this is the thing that he sees most commonly asked about on the BG3 reddit... Yeah, no... Regardless this segues into questions about whether or not there will be a new Panel from Hell, for the next major patch. Sven is pleased to inform that yes, indeed, there will be another one ,and that they are working on it already, and that they have some very, very special plans for it.

Niara's Comment: Given the absolute travesty and waste of resources the last PfH was, and what a ludicrous procession of badly managed smoke and mirrors it turned out to be... I'm really despairing at the announcement that they are sinking even more time, effort, money and resources into putting on another one. As though THIS is what they need to be dedicating time, money and resources to... This is the last thing in the world that they need to be using their valuable resources on. It's frankly disheartening to hear them talk about the constraints of time and effort and the difficulty they have tackling various elements of their project... and then have them turn around and happily advertise this absolute waste of time, money and resource that could and should be actively being put into making the game. A panel stream for announcements and information, great, that would be great. A colossal waste like the last one, please, for the love of light don't.

Bonus Edit: Just checked a scan of every thread posted or posted in over the last 14 days on the BG3 reddit... didn't find one instance of anyone saying anything about missing Sven in his armour or wanting to see it again.

When questions about DM mode and DM tools, Sven quite firmly asserts that their main focus is on getting the game done, and that that's where all of their efforts are right now. He doesn't drop the classic developer line of saying “we'd really like to”, he just says they aren't working on it.

Niara's Comment: Getting the game done is where all the focus of their time, money and resources are going right now. … apart from, you know, taking time, money and resources to plan a superfluously excessive panel show, as he just finished mentioning. That aside, I think it's fair enough to say that that's not a feature they're working on right now, while there's still so much of the game left to get taken care of. That's fair. If they were legitimately putting all of their production time and resources into doing that, I'd be content... but coming off the back of his talking about how they're planning something spectacular for the next panel show, it just makes me agitated instead.

Next, er, Sven likes beaches? The beach is getting better and better? Every time he starts up the game, the beach just seems better and better... and apparently there's going to be a big surprise on the beach next patch, that may have long-reaching ramifications, depending on your decisions.

Niara's Comment: Sven's love of beaches, and waking up on them, is apparently why we start this game waking up on something that looks like a beach, rather than the river bank it's supposed to be. We can see this in the way Sven talks about it as a beach and terms it thus, even though it's meat to be a river bank... and geographically not a sandy one either. That aside... Another intro event is being hinted at; the combination of him saying that it's something that,many players have given feedback about wanting, and as being something that may have large potential ramifications alter, leads some to suspect that what he's getting at is that we may be able to keep Us with us a little while longer.

Personally, I'm all for this, as it means that I may some day be able to have my PC, Scratch, Us and the Owlbear Cub as my full 4-person party, and thus have a better team dynamic and more palatable friends than the current companion selection.

Sven rounds out the interview by also commenting that all of their effort goes into the things you'll never see, and that everything they do is so much work because of the approach that they're taking.

Niara's Comment: What I'm curious about is why this popped up as a random interview showing up now, with zero official communications from Larian directly or word from them on any of their media platforms. Instead, a large portion of the content on their twitter feed right now is actually relating to D:OS2 in various ways.

Last edited by Niara; 18/06/21 05:35 AM.
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I wish I was as articulate and organized as niara. Why is she always right?

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Thankyou, hehe, but I assure you I'm not... I try, but I make plenty of bad calls, I promise ^.^

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Originally Posted by Tuco
Being able to keep Us around would be quite the disappointing surprise, if that’s actually it.

+1

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Sven did stress in the video that they are trying to push the next update to be released soon, but they want it right before they do.

I imagine a lot of the developers are going on a few weeks summer holiday now as well - I know I am 😉. So the question is if we get it before end of August. I doubt it

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Good summary and insightful comments as always, @Niara.

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Originally Posted by Niara
When asked about what they've learned since adding druids back in February (four months since the last update), Sven comments that: “What we learned from bears is that on-boarding is important”.
- Niara's Comment: Another remark that makes it feels like he has really no respect or care for the system they're supposed to be working within...
First of all, Swen says "What we learned from players" not "bears". Not sure if this is a typo or you misheard (or I can't find that specific "bear" dialogue line).
Your comment here seems a bit harsh (I'm assuming because of ^)? As apparent from forum posts, there are many things in BG3 that aren't adequately explained and leave people confused. BG3 definitely needs to have an improved tutorial, especially for teaching what things are D&D and what are Larianisms. This was the aspect of the interview I was ~most happy with.

Originally Posted by Niara
Something curious happens in the next part of the interview: They talk about release times, and Sven laments the setbacks caused by the Covid crisis, the difficulties with VAs and motion capture - major issues that were reported on last year. The interviewer then asks: “Full release, is 2020 ballpark what you're aiming for?” To which Sven responds: “We would be happy if we can release next year, yes.”
- Niara's Comment: When was this interview recorded again?
I think the interviewer was asking "twenty twenty-what?", trailing off and leaving Swen to fill in that final digit. 2021 or 2022 or 202X

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Originally Posted by Niara

Personally, I'm all for this, as it means that I may some day be able to have my PC, Scratch, Us and the Owlbear Cub as my full 4-person party, and thus have a better team dynamic and more palatable friends than the current companion selection.


my GOD i feel SEEN

Originally Posted by Niara
Something curious happens in the next part of the interview: They talk about release times, and Sven laments the setbacks caused by the Covid crisis, the difficulties with VAs and motion capture - major issues that were reported on last year. The interviewer then asks: “Full release, is 2020 ballpark what you're aiming for?” To which Sven responds: “We would be happy if we can release next year, yes.”

"We would be happy if we can release next year" = "Absolutely no fucking chance we're releasing next year but I definitely can't say that now"

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If indeed he said 'Players' and not 'Bears' then that's certainly on me for mishearing. "Players" would make more sense....

Edit: Relistened, I'll grant that he is almost certainly saying 'Players' there, my mistake. I sometimes struggle with Sven's accent and mild mumbling, and the screen at the time was specifically showing a druid turning into a bear, and I guess that's where my brain went, so yeah, that's on me.

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When I'll have a bit more time, I'll wrote a thread to Swen to explain him WHY melee classes ARE fun and definitely HAVE things to do despite not having to choose a button among 36.

I heard he like wizards and casters. But he definitely don't know why melee characters including fighter are appealing. Clue : control the battlefield !

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Old school 90s priorities versus next gen lol (BG3 pic from their own Instagram...) . Larian turning into a AAA studio isn't helping either. This is turning into a PG13-simp game for the masses.
[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]

Last edited by mr_planescapist; 18/06/21 08:13 AM.
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Regardless this segues into questions about whether or not there will be a new Panel from Hell, for the next major patch. Sven is pleased to inform that yes, indeed, there will be another one ,and that they are working on it already, and that they have some very, very special plans for it.

I might have heard it wrong, i thought he said that this update won't be via a panel night but they do have plans/are getting ready for the next panel night (whenever that might be). I guessed that might be when they add new classes/races so a later update rather than this next one.

Thanks for the summary.

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Originally Posted by Tuco
Being able to keep Us around would be quite the disappointing surprise, if that’s actually it.

Also, no way I’m keeping that disgusting little fucker alive out of the ship in any of my playthrougs.

I don't like Us either! I usually squish it, can't stand it.

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Originally Posted by qwerrecd42
my GOD i feel SEEN

I'm holding out for a repeat sensation of when I downloaded a mod for Fallout 4 that turned Dogmeat into a leveled companion, and then wondered why I ever bothered with all those humanoid npcs and their nonsense.

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Dont need mods for that. The beast master ranger subclass is halfway there already if you want leveled animal companion.

There will probably be a mod that lets you add all animals you meet as companions so you have an army or a mod that uses the improved companion option in TCE so your companion isn't as weak as the original beast master companion.

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